Museum of Appalachia04/01/2015
Norris, Tennessee, 20 miles north of Knoxville. A fine museum and a must-see if you are in the area. It is amazing to see what John Rice Irwin, founder of the museum, was able to assemble. The country/bluegrass section is particularly spectacular, with instruments donated by every iconic musician you can name. If you are a gun enthusiast, you will be in that section for quite a while. There are tools and farm equipment from the very early days of the area. Mark Twain’s boyhood home is even there, all the way from Possum Trot, TN, as well as many more houses, cabins, a smoke house and several shops. Allow a lot of time for this venture. It is a very low key, reasonably priced place and the tour is self-guided.
The barn is cantilever style, built so that the air-flow can come up from the bottom of the hayloft and dry the hay to keep it from spoiling. It is a comparatively wet environment here, compared to Montana and Eastern Washington, so drying hay is difficult.
John Rice Irwin was an educator in his youth, and the youngest elected superintendent in Tennessee.